Building foundations for change: Developing Autism and Aspergers services in Southend

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Southend has created this report to follow up on their 2014 report, published after a Healthwatch Southend public event where local services for people with Autism and Asperger's were discussed. The aim of this second report is to update on the development of services in Southend for people with Autism and Asperger's. The report briefly summarises the current policy and legislation around Autism. Local authorities must take this legislation into account when developing their strategies for accommodating and meeting the needs of people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. It looks at the work that has been carried out by Southend Borough Council in developing a local Autism Strategy and cites the relationship between Southend Borough Council and the charity Supporting Asperger Families in Essex (SAFE) as an example of a local authority working in partnership with a third sector organisation towards a common goal: In this case increased awareness of Autism Spectrum Conditions, better Autism-specific services, and more inclusive public services. The report also highlights the need for good quality bespoke care for people with Autism Spectrum Conditions and focusses on the South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) Asperger's Service as an example of a well-regarded programme of care and support that is already operating in Southend, and reviews the efforts of public services to adapt to the recent Autism legislation, using the local Jobcentre as an example. Following the initial event, Supporting Asperger Families in Southend (SAFE) were invited by Southend Borough Council to have a representative on the Learning Disability Partnership Board. This was intended as an interim position while an Autism Partnership Board was established. Southend Borough Council have begun rolling out appropriate training to staff, including those who will be carrying out Social Care Assessments. The report also notes that the Autism Partnership Board will act as a forum where representatives from public services can be invited to attend and discuss the ways they could increase accessibility and user-friendliness for people with Autism Spectrum Conditions. It is hoped that this will bring about far-reaching change in Southend. Healthwatch Southend conclude that Services for people with Autism and Asperger’s in Southend will continue to evolve over 2015 and that they will continue to monitor the progress of these developments.

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General details

Report title 
Building foundations for change: Developing Autism and Aspergers services in Southend
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Southend
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 25 March, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 18 February, 2014
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 18 February, 2015
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Consent to care and treatment
Continuity of care
Cost of services
Devolution of services
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of regulation
Quality of staffing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Diagnostic and/or screening service - single handed sessional providers
Secondary care services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Social care services 
Adult social care
Children services
Community services 
Community based services for people with a learning disability
Community based services for people with mental health needs

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Neurological conditions
Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
Social / behavioural
Types of long term conditions 
Learning disability
Mental health condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Not applicable
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not applicable

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.